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UK Budget Comment - Nick Kelly

Nick Kelly

This year’s Autumn Budget delivered by Chancellor Phillip Hammond, with the backdrop of Brexit, struck a cautious note, but one that the Conservatives will hope will win favour with voters, including additional funding for the NHS.

The changes to stamp duty will be good news to first time buyers, but with no assistance in saving and borrowing it’s unclear of how much benefit this will actually be. Government support for the creation of 300,000 new homes a year by 2025 is a further nod to the plight of first time buyers but there is unlikely to be a great deal of noticeable impact in the immediate future.

The UK Government appears to have used this budget as an opportunity to set its stall out for post Brexit Britain to be a technological leader, focussing on clean fuels and ICT.

To do this, there will be further costs brought in for those using diesels as company cars, with some of this funding going towards a £220m clean air fund and also a significant investment in the electric car industry, including more charging points to encourage wider use.

To support Britain in becoming a technological centre of excellence, the Chancellor has made way for 8,000 new computer science teachers, as well as further investments in to the school system.

Increases in personal allowances and the higher rate threshold for income tax is likely to please many UK tax payers, as is the increase in the national living wage and improvements to the welfare system.

Capital gains tax is being extended to cover the interests of non-residents in commercial property with effect from 2019. Presumably in a bid to avoid discouraging investment in to the UK however, there has been no mention of IHT being brought in on commercial property as it has been on residential.

It would be fair to assess this latest budget has more pros than cons but with further promises to decrease borrowing, one wonders how it will all be paid for.

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